Opinion
Education Letter to the Editor

Travel Tips

December 27, 2004 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Cathy Sproul’s acidic article [“Permanent Vacation,” August/September] on the travel opportunity afforded her teenage “at risk” students in Arizona illustrates why “our schools are failing.” I say this not in agreement with her assessment that [visiting] France and Germany is a waste of time but because of her opinion that the time would be better spent “going over Arizona standards, doing rote drills, and practicing filling in Scantron sheets.”

I am amazed that a quality magazine such as Teacher would even allow space for her disturbing opinion, with its over-the-top and abundant sarcasm. I honestly thought she was kidding, but upon repeated reading realized she actually meant what she wrote. She would seem to imply that at-risk children should stay at home because they are not intelligent enough to appreciate the wonders the world has to offer. How offensive!

Brooke Larm

Azusa, California

Cathy Sproul’s reply: I am delighted that you found my essay “disturbing.” It was written satirically, out of pure frustration. Watch pandering to the rhetoric of increased test scores happen before your very eyes, and see how sarcastic it makes you, especially when it’s the students who pay the price. The current trend toward high-stakes, standardized testing is profoundly damaging in at-risk settings. When you’re teaching kids who are lucky to reach their 16th birthdays without being parents or addicts, you see how much they benefit from being in Europe instead of sitting in classrooms learning often-pointless objectives to pass standardized tests. Finally, for the record, some of the most intelligent people I’ve ever met have been “at-risk students.” So I’m happy to report that we’re in agreement; we just have different ways of expressing our shared views.

A version of this article appeared in the September 25, 1996 edition of Education Week as Travel Tips

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Start Strong With Solid SEL Implementation: Success Strategies for the New School Year
Join Satchel Pulse to learn why implementing a solid SEL program at the beginning of the year will deliver maximum impact to your students.
Content provided by Satchel Pulse
Teaching Live Online Discussion Seat at the Table: How Can We Help Students Feel Connected to School?
Get strategies for your struggles with student engagement. Bring questions for our expert panel. Help students recover the joy of learning.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Science Webinar
Real-World Problem Solving: How Invention Education Drives Student Learning
Hear from student inventors and K-12 teachers about how invention education enhances learning, opens minds, and preps students for the future.
Content provided by The Lemelson Foundation

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: June 8, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: June 1, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: May 11, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: April 27, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read